It has been more than a year since COVID-19 first made headlines. However, thanks to the efforts of researchers and healthcare workers, vaccines for the viral disease are slowly making their way to people across the world. While the pandemic is far from over, vaccines will play a vital role in our fight against it. As such, today, Google announced a bunch of new initiatives that it is working on to make the vaccines more accessible.
Firstly, Google will make some of its buildings, parking lots, and open spaces available as vaccination clinics. The plan is to establish these sites across the United States in collaboration with One Medical and other public authorities. But for starters, sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City, will soon open and serve as vaccination clinics.
The tech giant also announced that it will be providing an additional $150 million in its ongoing efforts against COVID-19 to promote vaccine education and its equitable distribution. $100 million will be delegated to ad grants for the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other nonprofit organizations. $50 million will be invested in partnerships with public health agencies to reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information. This is to ensure that the vaccine is uniformly distributed across different communities. The firm said that it has allocated $5 million in grants to organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations, specifically.
Building upon its previous efforts in spreading public awareness and understanding of COVID-19, the firm will also be launching a “Get The Facts'' feature on Google and YouTube. As shown in the image above, the new initiative, which is set to launch soon, will help encapsulate and consolidate authoritative information regarding vaccines for the public.
Similarly, over the coming weeks, vaccination locations will be available in Google Search and Maps as well. Essential information about appointments, prerequisite referrals, accessibility, and drive-through facilities will be highlighted. For this, the Alphabet-owned company is collaborating with authorities and with Boston Children's Hospital and its initiatives like Vaccinefinder.org to gather vaccination location information and make it available. This feature will be available in the United States, starting with the states of Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with the plan to expand into more states and countries in the future.